A Christian Perspective on Worrying
It’s been said that worry is like a rocking chair-it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. One interesting set of statistics indicates that there is nothing we can do about 70 percent of our worries:
40% are things that will never happen.
30% are about the past-which can’t be changed.
12% are about criticisms by others, mostly untrue.
10% are about health, which gets worse with stress.
8% are about real problems that can be solved.
-Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanne Weaver
Can you recall the last time you worried? For people like me, we are LIVING it! However, did your worry actually move you forward? Did your inner battle leave you victorious or in the slumps? Like the quote above mentioned, worrying (or being anxious) is non-productive, busy work like rocking a chair, chewing gum, or flipping a dead switch. We go nowhere; we exhaust ourselves and we remain in the dark!
Worry differs from concern. Concern is awareness of an issue that needs attention. Worry is crippling fear, usually of the unknown. We have the false notion that worry is going to protect us from some terrible outcome but instead of tackling the issue; we explore too many (and often irrational) outcomes. Ruminating on too many thoughts is as effective as focusing on none since we lose direction.
We also get into the issues of control when we worry. Because I cannot be capable of controlling every situation, trying to wrangle it into submission is like grasping at water.
Is worrying sinful? I think it runs the risk since we might take too much comfort in it instead of finding comfort in God, which is idolatry. When we sin, sometimes worrying is a natural consequence.
As someone diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, it is difficult to change the way my brain functions. My natural default is to the worry. However, instead of being ashamed of my tendencies, I should focus my energy on helping myself as much as possible. This includes taking medicine for my chemical imbalance, checking in with my regular doctor for any underlying health conditions, and working towards managing my negative thoughts
Three verses come to mind about worrying; Matthew 6:34, Philippians 4:6-7, and 1 Peter 5:7.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
What do these verses reveal? They encouraged us to focus our attention on today’s issues and venting our concerns to God, who cares for us. By letting go, He promises to give us supernatural peace.
Our world is what we focus on. If we go through life expecting the worst, we will find it. If we believe God will see us through any situation and provide for us, we can have peace even in the waiting room. Life’s battles take place first in our mind. That is why God tells us to renew our mind daily. Even if you have heard or read to trust God, we need to be reminded a million times more to have it sink in.
Is there something in your life you need to surrender over to God? Sometimes we don’t realize what is going in our hearts until we speak it out loud. Confide in a trustworthy friend or speak out loud your prayers.
If you have trouble praying, here is a template:
Father in heaven, help me surrender my worry to you. I release any kind of control I have attempted to take on. Remind me of your love and promises. Help me to not only know these truths but firmly believe them. Thank you for the wondrous works you have done and will do in my life.
In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!
Another tactic that I found helpful is writing my negative thoughts and reframing them. For example, “I will never find a good job” changes to “God has and will provide for me”.
Sometimes it’s our past that haunts us, which causes us to worry that a similar situation would happen again. Depending on how debilitating the feelings/thoughts are, there might be some trauma we need to work through or self-forgiveness that need to take place. If so, call onto God to help you get freed from your chains. I do not intend to use the label of trauma lightly, but I believe that sometimes we become blinded by it. Be vigilant to treat the source, not just the symptoms of the pain.
Sometimes worry cages us, other times we willingly cage ourselves. Either way, we feel trapped. Therefore, we must call out to God to help us get out. Worry/anxiety is a false security blanket that should remind us to lean on God and nothing else.
If you are struggling, please don’t suffer alone. I intend to be a gentle but steadfast reminder to take care of our hearts since everything flows from it. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to vent or need prayers. I check my emails daily!
Take care and God bless!